Linden Industrial Association
The next meeting of the Association will be at the Meeting Room at the Hampton Inn @ Aviation Plaza, 501 West Edgar Road (Rt. 1 North & Stiles Street), Linden, New Jersey, at 8:00 a.m. on Tuesday, November 20, 2018. Our Guest Speaker will be James R. Coyle, Executive Director, Gateway Regional Chamber of Commerce, who will report on the outcome of the elections and its impact on the general economic and industrial environment.
Please note your diary and confirm your attendance by e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org, so that we may make the appropriate arrangements for breakfast. You should plan to have a substitute attend on behalf of your company if you are not able to attend.
The Minutes of the meeting on October 16, 2018 are included below.
Calendar of Events
November 20, 2018 (Sponsored by Infineum USA L.P.)
January 15, 2019 (Total Specialties, Inc.)
February 19, 2019 (A&M Industrial)
March 19, 2019 (Cox Printers & Digital Media)
April 18, 2019 Annual Dinner
May 21, 2019 (Phillips 66 Bayway Refinery)
June 18, 2019 (General Magnaplate Corp.)
Linden Industrial Association
MINUTES OF THE REGULAR MEETING OF THE
LINDEN INDUSTRIAL ASSOCIATION
A regular meeting of the Linden Industrial Association was held on Tuesday, October 16, 2018, at 8 a.m. at the Hampton Inn @ Aviation Plaza, 501 West Edgar Road (Rt. 1 North & Stiles Street), Linden, NJ, pursuant to written notice thereof duly sent to all members in accordance with the provisions of the Bylaws of the Association. The following were present:
Mayor Derek Armstead City of Linden
Harry Bockus Solar Compounds
David G. Brown, II Linden Roselle Sewerage Authority
Kathleen Burke A&M Industrial
Wayne Cromwell General Magnaplate
Gregory Grasso Linden Public Schools
Thomas Kasper Unity Bank
Bernie Kordelski Total Specialties
Chris Lacancellera Paychex
June Lazaro Primerica
Alex Lospinoso LEDC
Rich Lulla Mott MacDonald
Nancy Sadlon Phillips 66
Sergio D. Simões, Esq. Lindabury McCormick Estabrook & Cooper
John H. Schmidt, Esq., Guest
Speaker Lindabury McCormick Estabrook & Cooper
Jared Stadlin Linden Warehouse & Distribution Co., Inc.
Rebecca Tattoli Assistant to the Mayor
Jameson Tisch KAD Associates
Darla Titolo Paraco Gas
Lori Wanamaker Phillips 66
Our special thanks to James K. Estabrook, Esq., and Lindabury, McCormick, Estabrook & Cooper, P.C., for their continued support of the Linden Industrial Association in sponsoring today’s breakfast meeting. A motion was duly made and seconded to approve the minutes of the membership meeting on September 18, 2018. The motion was unanimously passed.
President’s Report. President June Lazaro extended an invitation to the membership to attend a community event to benefit Blue Acres which endeavors to repair and revitalize neighborhoods affected by mega-storms.
Program. President June Lazaro was pleased to introduce John H. Schmidt, Esq., Lindabury, McCormick, Estabrook & Cooper, P.C., who provided the following legal update.
New Jersey Paid Sick Leave Act:
New Jersey Paid Sick Leave becomes effective October 29 2018. It obligates every employer in NJ to provide paid sick leave to employees regardless of the size of the employer. All employers, including not for profits, temporary staffing firms, education firms; everyone is required to comply with this law. The only uncertainty with the Paid Sick Leave is the issue of out of state employees for companies that are based in New Jersey.
Paid Sick Leave is applicable to all employees – full time, part time, seasonal. The only exceptions built into the law concern employees in the construction industry who have a collective bargaining agreement, and a healthcare institution that employs per diem health care workers (this exception does not apply to home health care aides). Paid Sick Leave can also be waived in a collective bargaining agreement. For every 30 hours worked, an employee is entitled to 1 hour of paid sick leave a week. Each employee can accrue up to 40 hours of paid sick leave each year. An employer can apply 2 methods – full accrual (employers just give the 40 hours [5 days] of paid sick leave a year) or use an accrual method (earn sick leave for every hour worked). At the end of the year, if the employee has not used all of the sick leave time, two things can happen – (1) the employer can buy them back, or (2) they roll over into the next year. The employer can also buy back the excess sick time. An employee can take time off to care for a family member – child, grandchild, sibling, domestic partner, civil union partner, parent or grandparent of partner. The law basically applies to everyone, including those not related by blood but who are a close family connection. Employees can also take paid time off for domestic violence issues, public epidemics, and for school related conferences. Under the act, the employer cannot ask for a doctor’s note unless the employee is out for more than 3 days. An employer can have a blackout period – the employer can designate days where sick leave is not permitted.
An employer cannot discipline anyone or retaliate for taking up to 5 sick days a year. There is a rebuttable presumption that if an employer disciplines or retaliates against an employee within 90 days of the person using a sick leave day, it is assumed that it was retaliatory. The DOL says employers must keep records for 5 years. Records must be kept open for audit. The DOL has come out with notices that must be posted. Employees must be given notice at least once with information about the Act. If an employee quits or is fired, an employer need not buy back the sick leave time.
Diane Allen Equal Pay Act
The Equal Pay Act amended the NJ law against discrimination. It lessens the burden for an employee to prove that there was a pay difference when compared to the white male; the white male is the standard. The objective of the Act was to equalize payment and compensation for “substantially similar work.” That is determined by considering all factors such as skill, tenure, training, education. It applies to race, color, creed, ancestry, gender identity, gender expression, disability, sexual orientation, pregnancy, etc. If a claim is made, it must be made in 2 years (like the discrimination law). However, the employee can get damages going back 6 years. Each check that the employee gets begins a new cause of action.
Sex and Race Discrimination in NJ
The MeToo movement has created an uptick of sexual harassment claims in NJ. If a claim comes in for sexual harassment, an employer is obligated to investigate the claim, either individually, or with a third party like a law firm, or investigator. If someone is found to have violated the law, training is highly recommended. For any claim of discrimination, no matter what kind, employers should do an investigation. If employers take the step of an investigation, they can avoid the risk of punitive damages.
Pending Legislation on Restrictive Covenants
Under the pending legislation, restrictive covenants would no longer be enforceable against sales people; however, employers can maintain a restrictive covenant only if the employer pays the restricted employee during the term of the restricted period, including benefits. It goes further than California, which made restrictive covenants illegal. There is an exception that you can still have a non-disclosure agreement to guard your trade secrets.
Environmental, Health & Safety. Co-Chairmen Rich Lulla reported that OSHA is upgrading the program for excavation safety – more enforcement, more education and training. OSHA has also extended the comment period until December 2018. OSHA has made available training for process safety management; available to employers or anyone else in the field.
The State is in the process of simplifying permits for air discharges; also simplifying electroplating equipment and nonhazardous dry cleaning. In the future, they will simplify permits for combined heat and power, turbines, generators. State has implemented new drinking water standards – 13 parts per trillion standard. Toxic Substance Control Act – the EPA has made available the list which will be subject to standards and opened for comment.
Government & Community Relations. Mayor Derek Armstead reported that he has become a member of the Linden Roselle Sewerage Authority. The LRSA has entered into a deal to convert slug into charcoal byproducts for fertilizer and other products. City is close to finalizing this deal. Another $300,000 in new revenue for Linden and the additional revenue for the Linden Roselle Sewerage Authority.
The demolition has begun at the United Lacquer property. The City received $1 million for the property. Within the next months there should be major construction at the property. Title has not yet been exchanged, so construction had to be stopped until title is properly transferred. It will be approximately 300 units, which is just outside the transit area in Linden.
Linden Economic Development Corporation. Director Alex Lospinoso reported that at 202 South Wood Avenue there will be commercial and residential units. A new developer was found for scaffolding property, Accurate Builders LLC. The City is still in contact for broker for Legacy Square. They are almost going to sign an agreement with some well-known franchises and business. Friday was the opening for the first Masala Grill. Taste of Linden will be held on November 5th. If anyone knows any restaurants that want to participate, they should contact June Lazaro. It is coordinated through the Kiwanis Club and June is in involved in the project. Alex and the Mayor met with the owner of former Pathmark property. He is bringing Superfresh to town. The whole building will be a Superfresh. The ribbon cutting is anticipated to be the end of winter, in early 2019. He does not need to get permit approval since it is already approved for a supermarket.
Linden Public Schools. Gregory Grasso reported that the Governor and Department of Education has altered the State assessments – length of testing windows have been shortened, name has been changed. Don’t have exact details as to same.
Membership. Co-Chairmen Bernie Kordelski and Kathleen Burke introduced Darla Titolo and Chris Lacancellera, representing prospective new members Paraco Gas and Paychex, respectively. The Annual Dinner will be held in April at III Amici Ristorante and members are encouraged to invite prospective new members to attend. Extra copies of the 2018 Business Directory are available from the Mayor’s office.
New Business. Nancy Sadlon from Phillips 66 spoke on Blue Acres. Superstorm Sandy affected Tremley Point. A group called Blue Acres was formed which purchased property located in flood areas. 52 homes were purchased to get people out of the flood zones. A $2.3 million grant was given to Rutgers University to determine how to minimize flooding in the area and Phillips 66 contributed. Some grant money went to infrastructure to prevent flooding. The next step is what happens after you buy the Blue Acres property? They usually just sit there and are mowed. This project though is determined to do something with these Blue Acres property. The properties will be reforested and there will be a park. Rutgers, Princeton Hydro, Enviroscapes, Phillips66, City of Linden, NJ Wetlands Restoration Partnership will all participate to restore the properties. Before the end of year they will be moving forward. This will be a pilot program and Linden will be the first. June recommended to Gregory that the schools should get involved. Gregory stated that the schools have a robust environmental sciences department that may be able to assist. Rain gardens will need some sort of maintenance so there will be things to do. It would be perfect for young students.
Rebecca Tattolli, the Mayor’s Assistant, reported that the Halloween Parade will be held October 28, 2018 at 2:00PM. Aviation Plaza will also have its car show at the end of the month. Breakfast with Santa will be held on December 1st at JTG Center. Every kid gets breakfast this year. Yesterday the Mayor and Phillips66 came for the ribbon cutting of the quiet zone in Tremley. The trains blow their horns too early in the morning. Under the Municipal Aggregation Program the City has saved money but the Governor has passed his Green Initiative, so in December we will all see an increase in the gas, water and electric bills. Be forewarned that all utilities will increase in December or January.
There being no further matters, the meeting was adjourned. The next meeting will be on Tuesday, November 20, 2018, at the Hampton Inn, and Jim Coyle will speak regarding the outcome of the elections.
Sergio D. Simões, Esq., Secretary Pro Tem